A woman who lost her dad to a brain tumour is preparing for a day of hat-themed activities to raise money for Brain Tumour Research.
In previous years, Sam Hurrell has changed her hat every hour to support Wear A Hat Day – the iconic fundraiser hosted by Brain Tumour Research.
This year the University of Plymouth administrator is planning to host a bake sale and sell pin badges whilst wearing her signature pink top hat. It’s in memory of her dad, Pat Garnett, who lost his 17-year battle to a brain tumour in 2018. He was 62.
Sam, 46, said: “I used to crochet and once made a hat which Dad was fond of and he asked me to make him one. Ended up crafting one for myself and my children so they could be like their grandad. He loved it so much that he wanted to wear it to the very end, he was even cremated it.”
The mother-of-two who lives in Plymouth, added: “I was 24 when Dad was diagnosed with a meningioma on his brain stem – at the time I didn’t realise what this diagnosis meant. Most of it was removed with surgery.”
After six years of stable scans, a check-up in 2007 confirmed the tumour was growing. Pat had three rounds of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRT) a treatment delivering precisely focused gamma ray or X-ray beams at higher doses used in standard radiotherapy.
After visiting family abroad, a decade later, Pat began to develop painful headaches and a scan confirmed his tumour had returned. He had a second operation in May 2017 this time followed by radiotherapy, however the tumour became too aggressive, and he died in January 2018.
Sam added: “During his illness, Dad saw me, and my brother get married and was the best grandad to the children who he adored and who adored him right back. I feel so lucky to have had those 17 years with him and for him to see those big moments.
“I didn’t know anything about brain tumours until it hit our family. There was always a lot about other types of cancer but I can’t recall ever reading or watching anything on brain cancer. There are many families who aren’t as fortunate which is why I support Brain Tumour Research.”
One in three people know someone affected by a brain tumour and they kill more men under 70 than prostate cancer yet, historically just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.
Mel Tiley, community development manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “We’re grateful to Sam for choosing to support the charity in this way, especially knowing that her father was a big fan of hats.
“People can get involved in Wear A Hat Day in so many fun and easy ways, the list really is endless. Wear a hat and hold a walk, a party, a quiz night or a bake sale. Or get your thinking cap on and come up with something totally unique.”
The theme of this year’s Wear A Hat Day is to look super for science. People are invited to pop a hat on and make a donation here. You can even take a selfie to share on social media using #WearAHatDay.
Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK. It also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure. The charity is the driving force behind the call for a national annual spend of £35 million in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia and is also campaigning for greater repurposing of drugs.
To donate to Brain Tumour Research via Sam’s fundraiser, please visit: www.facebook.com/donate/
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